Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 Bassmaster Classic Lake Conroe Day 1: Brent Ehrler Leads with 23-3lbs!

Giant 9-12 largemouth vaults Ehrler into lead. 
By Luigi De Rose

Brent all smiles as he takes the lead on Day 1!
(Photo: BASS)
A windy, cloudy first day of the greatest tournament of the year made for finicky fishing for most Classic anglers on Lake Conroe. Focusing on the morning shad spawn worked for Van Dam and Evers but many including G-man and Coombs couldn't connect making for a terrible morning. The sight fishing bite didn't seem to materialize for most. Neither did the numerous monster Texas bass that swim in Conroe. Mid-morning and into the afternoon produced more larger bass for the top 10 anglers.

Former Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) winner Brent Ehrler grabbed the lead anchored with a 9-10lb Texas giant. That bass was the Berkley Big Bass Day 1 winner. Brent spent most of the day in the mid-lake region.

Classic rookie, Bradley Roy grabbed second with 22-01lbs. Cliff Crochet, 22-08 for third, had a steady fishing day in the shallows of the upper regions of the lake. He said the fishing was consistent and matched his power fishing style well.

Mike Iaconelli, 21-02lbs for 4th had a slow morning except for the capture of a 6 lber which kept his spirits high as he remained in the lower section of the lake.

Clifford Pirch rounded out the top 5 with 20-11lbs. Clifford started along the dam among Van Dam, Ike and several others. He had a mid-moring flurry which several key bass were landed.

Experts agree that monster bass will make the difference of whom heroes or zeros. Ehrler's near 10 pound largemouth made a world of difference; without it he would be far from the lead. Ike's morning was set with a solid 6 pounder caught on a Carolina rig. He openly stated that it helped him confidently fish slowly all day.

Surprizingly, 4 of the Top 10, Brent Ehrler, Mike Iaconelli, Dave Lefebre and Matt Herren are past  Toyota Texas Bass Classic winners. Their past wins might offer them great understanding of the nuances of these Texas big bass lakes. Saturday's sunny, calmer weather should allow Classic angler great freedom to fish throughout the lake in search of a few monsters.

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